Friday 6 December 2019

Interview with Emily Bourne & Review of In A Mirror

I am delighted to welcome Emily Bourne to the blog for both an interview and my review of her début novel, In A Mirror. Here's a little about Emily.

Emily Bourne is a laidback Aussie lass, until she becomes too hyperactive on her YouTube channel. Emily vlogs her writing experience and uses the platform to engage with other writers about the daunting process. She also engages readers with juicy tidbits about her beautifully flawed characters and emotional scenes from her novels.

Emily writes gushy romance, heart wrenching character growth, and anxiety driven scenes to make the coolest cat sweat. When she’s not writing, she’s on social media as her alias, @queenemilicious, or hanging out with IRL friends with too much coffee… or wine… or both.

And onto the interview!

In your own writing, which character of yours do you relate to most?
Oh, that’s such a tough one. Obviously my main characters, the twins, Brittany and Charli are so much a part of me. I am a Gemini, so I have this kind of split personality and in a way I gave the twins each a part of me. Charli has my reclusive side, and Brittany has my wild, excitable side.

Do you read your own genre? Is it a favourite?

I really love young adult contemporaries (which my book In A Mirror is) but I started writing in the genre because I always felt the books I read were lacking in ‘something’. I wanted more out of them, so I created my own stories.

If you had to describe your style in three words, what would they be?
Chaotic, Fun, Over-achieving.

What was the first story you ever told?

I told this story in my Authortube Newbie Tag video on my YouTube channel. I was about six or seven years and wrote and illustrated a book about ‘Torty the Tortoise’. Torty was a baby Tortoise who had lost her mother and she explored the ocean trying to find her. It’s a reverse ‘Finding Nemo’ and yes, I’m still waiting for Pixar to send me my cheque. Ha ha!

Was writing always your dream choice of career?

Yes, I always wanted to be a writer but I was convinced I couldn’t make any money as an author. I did all these jobs I didn’t love because I thought it was what I “had to do”. I later found out about the world of self-publishing and all the work you can do with advertising and marketing to increase your reach to your target audience. The possibilities are endless if you are willing to out in the work. I am learning more and more each day and so excited about where this career can take me.

Do you have a writing space? Pictures or descriptions!
 Yes, I’ve just moved and am still setting up my space, but finally have a room all to myself. I have my lovely desk and a wall of bookcases where my cat Norman likes to play.

Playlists? Yes or no? And why?
I do have certain music I listen to for each book. For example, Lana Del Rey’s music was fundamental is writing In A Mirror. I love her lyrics. In my book, Charli writes a lot of poetry, so Lana’s poetry was very inspirational to keep me going. Her music revolves around passionate love and tragic heartbreak which fits In A Mirror very nicely.

For other writing projects I’ve listened to Sia, Britney Spears, Billie Ellish, Hallsy, and Katy Perry. For me it’s all about ‘mood’.

Which social media do you see as a must for writers?
It really depends. I always thought twitter, but now as I’ve started using Instagram again (which I thought I would never do) I think it depends on what the individual person finds fun. I enjoy making YouTube videos but so many people tell me they are terrified to get in front of the camera. If you’re terrified, I would say, don’t do it. I think people put too much pressure on themselves with social media. For me I say, block out all the people telling you to ‘build your author platform’. Have fun and be authentic, and the followers will come (eventually).

Where do you hang out most online?

YouTube. That’s where I produce the most content. I use Instagram to connect with other writers through DMs.

Do you have a favourite app for writing?

SCRIVENER! Did my love come through in the all caps? I adore Scrivener. I love it for outlining, drafting, and even formatting ebooks! I also use google dos and word, but scrivener feels like the inside of my brain on a computer screen. I love it. I bought it only two days onto my free trial.

Organised or not?
Define organised, ha ha ha. I just made a merch store to celebrate the release of In A Mirror, and one of my catchphrases on the clothing and other items is ‘organised chaos’. Does that tell you enough? I am organised from my perspective, but others might see it as a mess. (One of my other catchphrases is ‘it’s a mess but it works’.)

What's your favourite book you've read?

Just one? Toss up between ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls or ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ by Arthur Golden. They are the two books on my shelf I’d re-read in a heartbeat.

Morning or evening writer?
I am not a morning person so I naturally write more in the evenings, BUT, if I get up at 5am I find I am actually more productive in the mornings. So I am more productive as a morning writer, but I prefer to sleep in. It’s a struggle!

If you had a hashtag for your books, what would it be?

Well, In A Mirror currently has a hastag #IAMRelease and I have a hashtag #lunaticwritingabook - so I use these as somewhat “branding”. (I use the term branding quite loosely ha ha.)

  There’s more than lies in a reflection… Amid secrets and rumours, follow twins Brittany and Charli Matthews as they fight inner demons, dividing them, in the hell that is high school.

At a party, Brittany gets her first taste of popularity, but when another girl eyes the boy she likes, things take a few wrong turns. Whilst branding herself a loser, Brittany tries to keep her cool and joins the cheer squad and befriends the queen bees. Her obsession with her dream boy intensifies, but as they get closer, he seems to be holding secrets of his own. Brittany must decide whether popularity or the chance at love is what she really wants. But will she ever stop calling herself a loser and be happy in her own skin?

When Charli is at a party, uninvited guests shake up the dynamics with her friends and cause her to doubt the boyfriend she trusted. Attempting to avoid the morons at school, Charli focuses on her studies, hoping to bring her dad home. But she overdoes it and loses who she is. Charli must drop her single-minded approach if she wants to keep her loved ones close. But that means deciding who to trust and who to push away. If Charli puts herself first, will she find where her true happiness lies?

My Review: 5 stars
I picked this up as pre-order and have been dying to read it. The story was engaging from page one and I adored all the characters, though I did love Charli more than Brittany, both girls were so different from each other, and it was the kind of book you pick up and then never want to put it down. I was desperate to know what happened, and overall it was a definite 5 star read. Highly recommended and can't wait for the sequel and more books from this author!

You can follow Emily on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and her website.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.

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